Florida's child pornography laws prohibit people from possessing, distributing, transmitting, or manufacturing depictions of children engaged in sexual conduct. Such acts are charged as third-degree felonies. But what if an adult sends a child a nude photo or other sexually explicit images of themselves? Is that still illegal? In Florida, it is, and a couple of different statutes forbid this type of behavior.
Distributing Harmful Materials to a Child
One law that makes it illegal for an adult to send an explicit image of themselves to a child is Florida Statute 847.012. It states that it's unlawful for an adult to sell, rent, or loan for payment any visual or written depiction of material considered harmful to a minor.
Harmful material includes that involving:
- Sexual conduct, or
- Sexual excitement
The material must also appeal to prurient, shameful, or morbid interest, be widely considered by adults offensive to children, and have no educational value for the child.
What is challenging about the law is that a person charged with it cannot use as a defense their ignorance of the child's age, even if the child misrepresented it.
As with transmitting child pornography, distributing harmful materials to a child is a third-degree felony. If a person is convicted, a court can sentence them to up to 5 years in prison.
Transmitting Harmful Materials to a Child Through Electronic Means
Another law in Florida prohibiting the transmission of harmful materials to minors is Florida Statute 847.0138. It provides that an adult, knowing that they are conversing with a person under 18 years of age, who transmits images, information, or data considered harmful to a minor is committing a crime.
Harmful materials are defined the same way they are for distributing harmful materials to a child. However, Statute 847.0138 specifically applies to the distribution of sexually explicit materials through electronic means, such as email.
The offense is also a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
If you've been accused of an internet or sex crime in Fort Lauderdale, you need effective counsel on your side as soon as possible. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our lawyers deliver aggressive defense for even the most complex cases.
To get started on your case, call us at (954) 840-8713 or contact us online today.